Deko Barbara-Jessica Wedi (born 13 September 1992), professionally known as Rouge is a new school rapper, Hip-hop artist and author from Pretoria, South Africa. Her aim is to bring change in the hip-hop industry, especially the female market. She does not only want to appeal to the women of hip-hop, but to everyone. she wants to be known as a rapper, not just a ‘female’ rapper, but rather someone who is talented at what they do.
Rouge a first generation South African, of Congolese heritage, was born and raised in Pretoria. She always dreamt of becoming a performer and started singing at the age of 6, songwriting at the age of 12 and rapping at the age of 19. She also took part in acting, public speaking and poetry, not knowing she was preparing herself for what was to come. In 2014 she completed a degree in Drama & Film at the University of Pretoria.
After listening to one of Rouge’s RnB songs during a studio session with a friend, the suggestion was made that Rouge rap instead singing the lyrics. Although it was she was stepping out of her comfort zone, Rouge instantly fell in love with the flow and was hooked.
In December 2014, Rouge released her debut single entitled “Party” to critical acclaim.
Her single “Mi Corazon” meaning ‘My Love’ in Spanish, was released in 2015.
In late 2015, Rouge also released “Bua”.
The same year, Rouge was also featured on rapper “AKA“s Baddest Remix.
She released two new singles in 2016, “Mbonga Zaka” and “Sheba Ngwan O”, which was play listed and topping charts on all mayor radio stations across South Africa. She was featured on Locnville’s single “Taste The Weekend” and released “Takeover”.
She is currently working on her debut album titled “New Era Sessions” which was released in 2017.\
She has participated on the MTVBase Cyphers in the “New Skool” category as one of the most anticipated rappers for 2017.
Rouge had a hit collaboration in 2017 with Ms Cosmo titled “Connect” featuring Nasty_C and Kwesta.
On 8 September 2017, Rouge released her debut Album ‘The New Era Sessions’. Challenged by the fact of being a female in the male dominated industry, she rose to the challenge when she successfully launched her album to a sold out crowd.
Her short film ‘New Era Sessions’ based on the album premiered on MTV Base on 15 September 2017, featuring artists such as Atandwa and Fikile Kani, Denise Zimba.
Rouge won “Best Female Rapper” for her album ‘The New Era Sessions’ at the South African Hip-Hop Awards in December 2017.
The New Era Sessions
Over a shifting sonic landscape of skittering trap beats, club-ready hooks and fat 808-fed boom-bap, Rouge establishes an empowered feminine stance by delivering fierce, yet liquid-smooth rhymes, establishing her street cred, taking shots at rivals and dropping life lessons. Amid a disquieting swirl of thunderous bass and snapping high-hats, Rouge’s voice emerges clear and untouched.
– Since October 2016, ROUGE is also seen as one of the mentors in The Play Coalition, a reality TV show airing on VuzuTV every Saturday at 6PM. Alongside DJ Dimplez, Ricardo da Costa, Major League Twins, Punk & Ivy and dancer Courtnae Paul, they each select a group of interns whom they guide and assist on each week’s episode. Each episode, the interns undergo a series of challenges with the assistance of their mentor for the purpose of organizing a massive concert event called The Griffin Session, held on 26 November 2016.
– She has participated on the MTVBase Cyphers in the “New Skool” category which are the most anticipated rappers for 2017.
– She is the Presenter of The Remix SA on SABC1 (International show).
Awards & Nomination
Nominated: South African HipHop Awards ‘Best newcomer’
Won: South African HipHop Awards ‘Best Female’ #SAHHA
Won: South African Film & Television Awards ‘Best Micro Budget Film’ for ‘New Era Sessions’ #SAFTAs
Won: South African Music Awards ‘Best Music Video Of The Year’ for ‘Arumtumtum’ #SAMAS
Nominated: South African Music Awards ‘Best New Comer’
Nominated: South African Music Awards ‘Best HipHop Album’